La Nouvelle Panique, composed of Gaspard Hoël (musician and videographer) and Jonathan Poulet (musician and sound artist), brings a complex multidisciplinary focus to the Magic Carpets project and the audiovisual artistic residency hosted by META Cultural Foundation in Slon. Their fusion of performance art, video, installation, and music reflects a unique approach to artistic expression.
Gaspard Hoël, a visual artist, videographer, and musician with a surrealist universe, draws influence from storytelling psychology, animism, fabulous aesthetics, and questions of play and identity. As a collaborator of Ziczazou and the Cirque Plume, Hoël instinctively favours a musical-pictorial dimension within his creations, where image and music merge to form a new playful and experimental space. Having studied communication and graphic design at the Ecole Nationale Estienne before entering the fine arts of Nantes, he graduated with the distinction ‘Production quality’ in 2019.
Jonathan Poulet, a graduate of the Fine Arts School of Nantes in France, focuses on experimenting with the meanings of ‘in situ music’ – exploring the various possibilities for musicians to engage with their real-time context, including space, materials, time, and social contexts. His work melds practices of musical instrument design, conceptual approaches to the creation process, musical composition practices, and live performance, aiming to connect with fictions and surrealist aspects.
Hoël and Poulet joined forces in 2017 to form the experimental rock group Bonjour Joseph, releasing an album under the Parisian record label La Souterraine. In 2019, they founded La Nouvelle Panique, exploring less trodden creative paths like entertainment and musical humour. Inspired by the playful universe of Peter Pan, Monty Python’s humour, and the scenic freedom of contemporary circus, they produced ‘Le Grand Spectacle,’ powered by Pulse and TUNantes. In 2021, they delved into puppet performance, extending their research into music as a primary scenic element. In 2023, they created a film featuring a fabulous brass band comprising six hundred young people from northern France.
La Nouvelle Panique arrived at the audiovisual artistic residency in Slon with the goal of creating a musical film in collaboration with the residents of Slon, whether musicians or not. Drawing inspiration from the archetypes of this cinematic style (Gene Kelly, Jacques Demi, etc.) but produced within the Slon rural community, their project aimed to challenge our relationship with everyday life and the ‘normal’ environment, using music as a driving force against stereotypical perceptions of reality.
“We want to make a filmed investigation that follows our discovery of places and encounters with local communities, and move step by step to a participatory musical creation with the people we meet. By ‘investigation,’ we mean understanding and archiving local stories and cultural elements and noting relevant points or facts that might emerge from discussions or observations, producing an imagined and social resource base to create music in a sensitive, open, and participatory way. Our duo is intended to act as a catalytic creative stimulus with the locals we meet, and the project will consist of shared creative experiences and crafts, as well as a production of audiovisual recordings.” (La Nouvelle Panique)
Guided by Gaspard and Jonathan, the children of Slon and the surrounding area embarked on a musical journey, embracing the experience with great enthusiasm and curiosity. They learned about the synthesizer, musical sounds, and the idea that having a beautiful voice is not crucial for singing; art can be achieved through play. The children also created lyrics reflecting their preferences and dislikes in Slon.
Dani, a talented teenager, seized the opportunity to compose music for the guitar, his favourite instrument, and mix sounds with a synthesizer under the guidance of professionals like La Nouvelle Panique. The resulting hard-hitting rock tunes written by Dani contrasted with the (too) calm atmosphere of the village.
“For us, it is very important to bring together motivated participants to co-compose the music structuring the film, inspired by their own musical tastes, and build the story with us. Thus, the musical becomes a medium for their expression that we, as artists, try to synthesize and visually translate.” (La Nouvelle Panique)
The audiovisual residency in Slon created a harmonious fusion of art and education in a hands-on learning environment at the 2META Museum, the venue for the workshops. The youth of the village became active contributors to La Nouvelle Panique’s story, making the Slon residency a learning resource for the local children, not just a creative centre for artists.
Following the Slon residency, La Nouvelle Panique crafted a musical-fiction with notes of humour, titled “Slon’s Legendary Summer Hits.” All the music in the film was created and performed by the participants featured in the story, under the guidance of Jonathan Poulet and Gaspard Hoël.
Slon’s Legendary Summer Hits
a film by Jonathan Poulet and Gaspard Hoël
With: Daniel-Ionuț Burlan, Alice Ceapă, Bianca Ivănou, Daiane Ivănoiu, Irina Ivănoiu, Nicola Manta, Andrei Staicu, Dalian Teodoroiu, Andra Plăiașu, Luiza Staicu, Andra Preda, Anda Staicu, Daria Nenciu, Stefania Ogrezeanu, Alexandra Preda, Eduar Dafina, Darius Ogrezeanu, Sandra Manta, Carla Manta, Nicolas Pertea, Ion Bănui.
Emerging artist: La Nouvelle Panique – composed by Gaspard Hoël and Jonathan Poulet (Nantes, France)
Residency place: META Cultural Foundation (Slon village, Prahova County, Romania)
Practice: visual artists (music/ sound, video, installation)
Collaborating artists: Ștefania Becheanu, Mihai Smeu
Curated by: Raluca-Elena Doroftei
Curatorial text by Raluca-Elena Doroftei